MSU Denver Theatre Department’s latest production of ‘Once Upon a Mattress’ opened last weekend in the Eugenia Rawls Courtyard Theater and provided a fun night at the theatre.
‘Once Upon a Mattress’ is a musical rendition of the Princess and the Pea with music and lyrics by Mary Rodgers and Marshall Barer. The classic show follows the story of the royal family in a fictional medieval kingdom. Where the young Prince Dauntless is in search of a bride but every possible sutor is turned down by his mother. The kingdom is saved though when Sir Harry finds a bride from a far off land.
The show features some strong, fierce female leads in Queen Aggravain (Cassie Lujan) and Princess Winnifred (Kinsey Scholl). Both women portray characters to be reckoned with. Lujan delivers perfect monologues and a version of the queen who is a compelling ruler yet still a loving mother.
Kinsey Scholl steals the show on several occasions. She is bright, funny and loud. Scholl is able to walk the line between adorable, loving princess and strong women perfectly. This young Sutton Foster carries the large musical numbers, provides humor at every turn and provides a true protagonist for the show to route for.
Although the performances were strong, the show was not without its flaws. There were times when the men were merely boys and needed to man up more. There were also wasted opportunities in the dance scenes as some characters tap danced in converse, losing the overall effect and distract from the emotional message of the scene.
At the end of the night this was a high end, well performed, and fun night supporting local up and coming theatre stars, right in our backyard. ‘Once Upon a Mattress’ is no playing through March 5.